The empty House of Representatives during the closure of the Connecticut State Capitol. Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio/NENC

Democrats claimed victory Tuesday night in the special election in the 144th House District of Stamford, holding onto a seat that Democrat Caroline Simmons wrested from Republicans in 2014.

Democrat Hubert Douglas Delany outpolled Republican Danny Melchionne for the seat Simmons vacated after her election as mayor in November. Unofficial results showed him winning with nearly 56% of the vote.

Turnout was 18.9%. 

Neither candidate has held elective office.

The House has two other vacancies: the 5th District of Hartford and Windsor and the 71st District of Waterbury and Middlebury. Democrat Brandon L. McGee Jr. resigned from the 5th; Republican Anthony J. D’Amelio resigned from the 71st.

Special elections are scheduled for Feb. 22 in the 71st and March 1 in the 5th.

The General Assembly convenes its three-month session on Feb. 9. 

Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on opening day.

His address was recorded last year, a precaution against COVID-19.

House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said Tuesday that Lamont will be invited to make the address in person, as Lamont prefers.

“I’d like to go in person,” Lamont said. “I think it’s appropriate. People now can be vaccinated. They can be tested. I’m asking other people to get back to work — I’d like to do it in person.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.